Pfizer Foundation grant provides critical meals to Michiganders facing hunger

National guard member helps at a drive-thru food distribution.

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich., May 20, 2020 — Pfizer Foundation recently awarded $500,000 to the Food Bank Council of Michigan. These funds were distributed amongst the state’s seven food banks – including Feeding America West Michigan – as they continue to provide emergency food for neighbors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

National Guard member helps at a drive-thru Mobile Pantry.

Of the total donation, Feeding America West Michigan received $105,422 – enough to provide over 420,000 meals worth of food.

Since March, the food bank has distributed 43 percent more food than usual to neighbors across its 40-county service area.

“This public health crisis has created an unprecedented need for emergency food,” said Dr. Phil Knight, executive director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan. “The Pfizer Foundation’s generous grant means those who are facing food insecurity will have one less thing to worry about during these tremendously difficult times.”

Kenneth Estelle, Feeding America West Michigan’s president and CEO, concurred:

“During this time when so many of our neighbors are facing hunger, it’s essential that we step in quickly and efficiently,” he said. “We are so grateful for the continued support of the Food Bank Council of Michigan, and for the Pfizer Foundation’s grant, which is essential during this uncertain time as businesses remain closed and families struggle to make ends meet.”

In 2019, Feeding America West Michigan distributed 20 million meals worth of food – 40 percent of which was fruits and vegetables.

The COVID-19 crisis has intensified the need, and with a decline in food donations, “the food bank is facing the perfect storm of challenges,” said Estelle.

For more information about the food bank’s response to the COVID-19 crisis and stories about their work during this time, click here.

About Feeding America West Michigan

Serving local families in need since 1981, Feeding America West Michigan reclaims safe surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers. That food is distributed through a network of more than 800 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other hunger-relief agencies in 40 of Michigan’s 83 counties from the Indiana border through the Upper Peninsula. For more information, visit or call 616-784-3250.